Every year we celebrate creativity and technical finesse with a Praxent Hackathon extravaganza. This year’s Hackathon featured a talking mechanical bird, a virtual DOM simulator and a recon robot, among other wonders.

Fun, functional or both, these projects allowed us to explore new technologies and flex our team problem-solving muscles.

>> Check out last year’s Praxent Hackathon projects (electronic hardware kits for kids plus a hilarious instrument tuner).

Animatronic Raven | Praxent Hackathon

In just two days, Rico, Sky, Bronius and Scott created a mechanical bird that crows on demand using servo and ultrasonic sensor integration. They faced unique challenges getting the hardware and the software to work together properly with minimal materials. Biggest takeaway from the experiment: animatronics requires improvisation and an open mind to new ways of solving problems.

Branded Stop Motion | Praxent Hackathon

This fun project used colored candy to create a stop motion video illustrating Praxent’s core values: care deeply, always deliver, never settle, do it together and own the outcome.

Want in on the fun and discovery? We are looking for smart, humble and motivated individuals to join our product design and development team.

Tessel Recon Bot | Praxent Hackathon

Using Tessel 2, plastic wire ties, mounting tape and a few other materials, Tom Workman built a remote-controlled reconnaissance robot that displays live camera feed on his phone. Tessel 2 is a development board with on-board WiFi capabilities that allowed Tom to build scripts in Node.js. The Tessel provided a connected hardware prototyping system that can be used in multiple different applications.

Tessel Robot Praxent Hackathon

Time & Stress Management Study | Praxent Hackathon

Deanna and Mark conducted a research project to gather insight around how teams manage time and stress, especially when working on multiple projects. They followed a similar process that we would follow for user research on client projects: interview team members, synthesize findings, find patterns and identify insights.

Here are the key insights Mark and Deanna found about time and stress management:

  • Stress touches every aspect of our lives.
  • We struggle to fit everything in.
  • We contend with distractions.
  • We need focused time to feel successful.
  • Our weeks are front-loaded.
  • We are built up by each other.
  • We recharge our batteries.

Dot Race | Praxent Hackathon

Passionate about instilling a love for coding in his kids, Kevin Hurwitz created a dot race digital game with his daughter. Based on a similar game he created in elementary school, the dot race uses an algorithm to determine the winner, cleverly displaying ratings and statistics in graphic format after each race.

Praxent Hackathon Dot Races

AR Room Detector | Praxent Hackathon

AR (augmented reality) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. using AR Kit, Xcode, Sublime, Atom, VS Code and Node, Jacob, Pete, Ryan and Emmet created an app that triggers an AR graphic in camera view when the camera is pointed at a pre-determined object.